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Sequenom to Build Molecular Lab in Wake County, NC

Sequenom will build a molecular diagnostics clinical laboratory in North Carolina, creating 242 jobs, the office of North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue announced today.

Sequenom also plans to make a capital investment of $18.7 million into the NC Biotechnology Center, which participated in convincing Sequenom to build the laboratory in North Carolina.

According to Purdue’s office, Sequenom will launch its MaterniT21 test for trisomy 21 in North Carolina, though the company said as recently as last month that the test will be introduced as a laboratory-developed test in the coming months through its Michigan-based subsidiary Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine.

A Sequenom spokeswoman declined to comment on details about the new facility, saying the terms of a lease agreement were still being finalized. She said, however, that like the Michigan facility, the North Carolina lab will serve as a “back up” and add testing capacity to Sequenom’s primary laboratory in San Diego, where the firm is headquartered.

In a statement, Paul Maier, president of Sequenom CMM, said, “Sequenom is rapidly advancing innovative technologies and has been looking at the right venue to expand its capacity, so we’re extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with North Carolina. The North Carolina region shows great promise for us, as an ideal location on the East Coast with a robust like-minded community and commitment to advancing our technologies through education and jobs creation.”

In connection with the announcement, North Carolina’s Economic Investment Committee today voted to award Sequenom a Job Development Investment Grant, under which the company could receive a grant equal to 60 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes resulting from the creation of new jobs if Sequenom satisfies annual performance targets for the nine years.

The grant could result in as much as $2.3 million in benefits to Sequenom, Purdue’s office said.

The laboratory will be based in Wake County, and Purdue’s office said that the average salary for the new jobs will be $53,721, compared to the average county wage of $44,980.

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